Transparency & accountability

Police attack on shelter for battered children and women under investigation

Human rights activist and journalist Lydia Cacho filed a complaint against the Cancun police for attacking a shelter she runs for women and children who are victims of extreme violence. According to the news source Informador the facility was attacked on Monday in an attempt to get the wife of agent Antonio García Javier out. It is believed that the agent has been physically and emotionally violent towards his wife.

The Comprehensive Care Center for Abused Women in Cancun (Centro Integral de Atención para la Mujer Maltratada—CIAM)  said his 29-year-old wife tried to denounce him on several occasions but was unsuccessful due to his influence in the Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría de Justicia). His wife sought CIAM help after Javier beat her with a metal iron, fracturing her nose; he also tried to choke her. The center has a collection of evidence in support of the above accusations including cell phone messages, testimony, and medical records as noted in a press release.

According to Informador, on Monday morning the police agent showed up dressed as a civilian, armed, and accompanied by his mother. With them were five other police officers dressed in black shirts and pants, military boots, and official police motorcycles.  They proceeded to try and enter the facility but after being denied entry García Javier and an unknown agent began kicking the door of the shelter and threatened to kill the personnel.  Despite the fact that they tried to use their police identification to enter the staff refused to grant them access. From inside the facility they called the Police and Federal agents for help.

The Deputy Attorney General of Quintana Roo (subprocurador de Justicia de Quintana Roo), Rodolfo García Pliego, indicated that investigations into the attack have been initiated.  Javier told  Deputy Attorney Pliego that he had thought his wife to be a victim of a kidnapping and had arrived at CIAM not knowing what its functions were, believing them responsible for the kidnapping of his wife, and that he had solicited help from Public Security force (Seguridad Pública) earlier last week. CIAM issued a statement saying the entire staff fears for their lives after being threatened with death and have asked authorities for protection. They continue to have custody of his wife.

Informador. “Atacan centro que atiende a mujeres maltratadas en Cancún.” Informador. 1 Junio, 2010.
Noticias agencia. “La periodista Lydia Cacho denuncia acoso contra refugio de mujeres que dirige.” 1 Junio, 2010.
Varillas, Adriana. “Investigan a policías por ataque a refugio.” El Universal. 1 Junio, 2010.

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